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I am writing in response to a recent article
regarding the imminent reopening of the former Lincoln Developmental
Center, which has been opposed by the Equip for Equality
Although I understand that the members of Equip for Equality are
trying to work in the best interest of disabled individuals
throughout Illinois, I believe it is important for the public to
understand the benefits that the new facility will bring to the
While Equip for Equality is correct -- the facility opening will
bring much-needed employment to the Lincoln area -- reopening the
center is not simply about creating jobs, as was suggested in the
article. The goal is to provide a state-of-the-art facility that
will serve individuals with disabilities.
Equip for Equality's goal is respectable. Obviously we want
Illinois' developmentally disabled residents to live as close to
family and friends as possible; however, for some people that is
just not an option. Every person's condition is unique, and while I
understand the benefits of the community-based services that Equip
for Equality advocates, it is important to acknowledge that some
individuals require constant medical attention.
[to top of second column in this letter]
The Lincoln Developmental Center -- soon to be Lincoln Estates --
simply offers another choice for disabled individuals, particularly
residents who are severely disabled or have no family or friends to
assist them on a daily basis. Not all disabilities permit community
placement, and I believe the Lincoln Estates living community will
provide the community support and the medical services that some
disabled individuals require.
The intention of the facility is not to segregate these people,
but to provide them with a home and the care they need to flourish.
While I respect the opinion of Equip for Equality, I will continue
to support the renovation of a newer and better Lincoln
State Sen. Larry Bomke
(Posted April 5, 2006)
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